Rehearsing

By: Gypsy Scribe

Author's note: Wow! I'm back. How did that happen? Seriously, it was good to return to the world of Harry Potter and play with the lives of my favorite "couple". "Rehearsals" is the last installment prior to this one. If you're wondering, this is Luna's point of view. I do hope you enjoy! And thank you for waiting. As you know, a writer is a fickle being J

Standard Disclaimer applies.

I love weddings. They are so romantic. I don't know why I like them so much. I just do. I've only been to a few, but they always leave me feeling so…I don't know, hopeful? I will admit, however, that I don't think I would like all the pomp and circumstance. Not that Ginny and Harry don't deserve something extravagant; it's fine. It's them. If my time every comes, I'd rather it be something smaller, something simpler. Something…magical.

I wonder if I could ever look as radiant as Ginny? I don't consider myself anything close to radiant. But isn't that what a bride is supposed to be? I'm much into white, either. If I ever get married, maybe I'll wear red. Or yellow. My father liked yellow.

He's so nervous. I can always tell. He has this thing he does, with his mouth. Kind of tucks his bottom lip under his top teeth repeatedly. Some people tap their feet, others wring their hands. He just moves his lip behind his teeth , not a lot; it's not that noticeable. I doubt anyone really sees it but me. I don't know why he's so nervous. All he has to do is stand there. He's moral support. Walk down the aisle and stand there. But I know what he's thinking. He's afraid he'll trip and fall. He thinks he's such a clumsy oaf. I wish I could let him know he's not an oaf at all! He's…

…looking at me! Probably sure I don't know. I do have my eyes closed. Not all the way, just enough to appear lost. I'd probably know he was looking at me if my eyes were closed tight. His eyes have a way of telling me, somehow, they are pointed my direction. I don't mind. It's just…

…I'm really nervous. Ginny asked me to sing. Me, sing! In Harry Potter's wedding! What an honor. I have considered them close friends since my fourth year. Ginny's probably one of the few people who know I can sing. My mother was the other one. She and I used to sing together in her garden. She had such a lovely voice. I wish she was here now. She could give me a few pointers.

What was it she always said? Don't worry about the audience, just sing. Sing from your heart. Let the music work it's magic. Close your eyes if you have to, Luna, but never be afraid to sing. But I am afraid. And she's not here to strengthen me. And he's over there watching me, wondering why I'm talking to myself. Maybe he'll just think I'm going over my song. Yeah, that's it. The song.

He's smiling. Does he know how beautiful he is when he smiles? He's usually too self conscious to smile much. Thinks his teeth are all wrong. I've heard him say as much to Ron. I just have to shake my head. He just doesn't see what I see…how could he?

Oh, he looked away. Caught me catching him staring. I stifle a giggle. Ginny's on her way over here. It's almost time for my debut. Let's hope it doesn't flop! And if it does…I'll just let the music work it's magic.

Ok. I'll be sitting on the far left side. On the front. I can do that. Sit there and wait for my cue. Easy enough. And he'll be up front, next to Ron, not in the audience looking at me. O. Wait. They're standing at an angle. He will see me. Oooh, where did those butterflies come from?

He's looking this way. Act natural. What does that mean anyway? Natural for who? For me? Or for the vast majority? O who cares. I'll just act…I look up and just stare at the place where I'll stand. He's looking at me still. Strange. I feel, peaceful? Suddenly I want him over here, not way over there. Why? Only moments before I wanted to make sure he couldn't see me, couldn't look at me with those deep brown eyes. Now I want him near me. O, this is so strange…

I wonder what the others will think? I don't really care, I guess. I just want it to be good. For Ginny and Harry. They deserve a beautiful, perfect night. I'm so honored to be a part of it.

Ginny just nodded. Ok. I can do this. Stand up, Luna. Walk to the front, by the gardenia bushes. That's it. Why are my legs so stiff. What if I'm the one who falls and looks like a clumsy oaf? Great. Now my hands won't stop shaking. Maybe if I twist them a bit? Warm them up? I look nervous. I know I do. He's going to think I'm a wreck. What is wrong with me? I don't think I've ever been nervous a day in my life!

He's coming this way. Over here. To sit in front of me. I can handle this. It's just Neville, right? Ron and Harry are watching him. He can't see them. Ron just said something to Harry and made him smile. Hermione just punched Ron in the ribs. I could hug her sometimes.

Wait. Did he just…say my name?

I look over at him and he appears to be stunned. No. He didn't say anything. But I know I heard my name. I look into his eyes and see it. He's trying so hard to tell me not to worry. He can't hide anything in those eyes. It's as if they are mirrors of his soul, broadcasting his heart, his thoughts, to whomever may be around him. And right now, his thoughts are being broadcast to me, seeping through the very earth beneath us, creeping up my bare toes, burrowing into my skin, making a beeline straight to my heart. I try to smile but end up chewing on my lip instead. Chewing my lip. Just like he was doing earlier. Perhaps we're more alike than I thought.

Don't be nervous? Why am I nervous? Now, he's smiling at me. I know it doesn't make any sense, but it's almost as if the tension just melted off me.

You'll do great.

Does he really believe in me? Could he really be that intent on helping me that I can feel his thoughts? I've heard of this happening. It's extremely rare. Somehow, somewhere along the way, a connection was forged between us. It's the only explanation. Enduring the end of the world together will do that to people. I'm so glad it did. I finally can smile back.

My neck's a bit stiff. Stretching from side to side, I see Ginny nod to George who's handling the music. Plain as day, those eyes are now saying the four most beautiful words I've could ever hear:

I believe in you.

As the music starts to float towards me, as my heart slows, as I ready myself to put my heart out in front of everyone who's ever meant anything to me, I allow my lips to form the only words they can:

Thank you.

I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and all the world fades to black. There's no one around but him. I can feel his eyes on me, no one else's. That's just fine. It doesn't matter what they think. I suddenly realize, I'm not singing for them. I'm not singing for Ginny or Harry. I'm singing for him. Can he tell? O, I hope not. I'm not ready to let him know that much yet. Let the moonlight take it, let the wind, now tangling my hair about me, let the fireflies take these words and do what they will. If they think he should know, then they can tell him.

Neville, she's singing for you.

It's over. I did it. I survived. Why is everyone clapping? Was it really that good or are they just trying to make me feel better? Wait. Mrs. Weasley and Hermione are crying. They're too sweet. They don't have to pretend just for my sake…

I'm enveloped in a mob of hugs and congratulations. They liked it! The tears are real! My goodness, Mother. If only you were here! But I know she was watching. She'll be watching tomorrow, when I sing at the actual wedding. In fact, I think they'll both be here. I told them they could come. I know Ginny and Harry wouldn't mind. Are they ghosts? Were they able to cross over together? I know I've seen my mom, on occasion. I've never told a soul. If they could come back, for just one evening, I wish with all my heart it would be tomorrow night.

"You have a beautiful voice."

He's the only one left. Everyone else moved away, laughing and talking, seeking a tissue, going back to hanging lanterns. He's blushing. And he's looking at the ground, at his feet, at his hands, anywhere but my face.

"Thank you, Neville. I couldn't have done it without you."

He's so confused. Maybe he really doesn't know I could hear him, hear his encouragement. Maybe I shouldn't have said anything. But I had to let him know. I had to let him know just how much he means to me. Yes. This boy Neville has come to mean the world to me. Perhaps a simple thank you is not enough, but for now it's the best I can do.

Yes, he's definitely confused. With a deep breath and a casual glance I continue, "It's your eyes. You can't hide anything in them. Everything you are and think spills through them, watering the ground and seeping into everyone around you."

Did I just say that? I quickly look to the ground. I've never said anything like that to another person before. For all my strange outbursts, that takes the cake. It just had to be him, didn't it? It just had to be the boy with the pools for eyes and the heart that sits on his sleeve, beating for the world to see.

"Was it really ok?" Honest question. I want to know. He'll tell me. I also have to pull him back from whatever he's thinking about my sudden poetic outburst.

"Ok?" He blinks several times, as if he's coming out of a trance. "Luna, it was…you are…"

Then he does something that will keep me up the rest of the night, wondering if he meant it the way it felt or if he was just trying his best to reassure me. Maybe a little of both. He takes my hands in his. His hands are so warm. They surround mine. They're stained with dirt. There's mud under his nails. I know he tries so hard to get them clean. But the earth is where he belongs. He's an earth child. My father told me I belonged to the air. He once said I should have been born with wings. I look into his eyes and wonder: can earth and air co-exist? What a silly question, I retort as I feel the grass between my toes and taste the cool night air. They don't just co-exist, they feed off each other, nurture one another, need one another. O my. It's only infatuation, right? They why do I feel as if the world just stopped turning?

"I don't think I've heard a more beautiful sound in all my life."

I'm not quite sure the full realization of what he said has hit me yet. Maybe it never will. The others are standing close by, watching our exchange. I'm sure they heard him. I don't care. And judging by the look in his eyes, he doesn't either. Will they tease him for it? Will Ginny and Hermione insist I tell them my thoughts?

No, it doesn't matter. Because right now he's looking at me, not pulling away, not talking, just looking at me with those great big brown eyes of his. And mine are filling with tears. O, this is most definitely not infatuation. This is love.